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Liverpool and Everton: A different ball game

Forgetting derby matches, the loser in the city of two halves is illustrated in Christian Petersen's photographic show

Published on February 11th 2009.


Liverpool and Everton: A different ball game

It may only be a short hike from the centre of the city, but you need travel no further out than Everton if you care to witness the huge gap between rich and poor in the 2008 you-know-what.

Everton was once very much the engine room that drove the cogs of commerce which in turn made Liverpool the big hitter in the Empire. Towering over the city, its Brow, the city's highest point, was once home to the thousands of workers who looked down on their collective workplace, the docks and heavy industry of the waterfront.

It is no secret that it and Kirkdale - once a central part of Liverpudlian identity - are severely marginalised from the city’s new wealth and image, in turn epitomised by the the 21st century "highest point" to survey the waterfront: the Panoramic restaurant. Where there is a vista of Liverpool One from one window, a mere turn of the head brings the struggling ramshackle shops of Great Homer Street into focus.

And speaking of focus, all this has been bothering city photographer Christian Petersen who has put together an exhibition of his own take on the area, currently on show at the KIND shop in Bold Street.

Although very much in Liverpool geographically, he says, Everton has yet to benefit from the kind of investment and attention the city centre has recently received. As a result, its people experience high levels of social exclusion.

None of this is a great revelation to anyone who lives here, nevertheless Petersen wanted to illustrate Everton's 21st century community in pictures.

“The city has suffered from gross misrepresentation and prejudice, sometimes from photographers,” he

says. “As a documentary photographer, I am interested in photographing areas that are otherwise excluded from the ‘constructed image’ of the city.

Petersen was spurred on by the 2006 Wealth of the Nation report which stated that Everton was the poorest ward in the UK. Forgetting derby matches with Liverpool for a moment, the statistics aren't good. Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has also found Liverpool to be the city with the greatest gap between rich and poor. This culture of expanding wealth and devastating poverty reside side by side.

Petersen, who also runs a photography-centred youth and community project at the Shrewsbury House youth club in Everton, says these images offer ‘little windows’ into the lives of the people, places and stories that make up the Everton community.

“To ignore the reality is to deny its existence. To a certain extent, this is what has happened to the poorest of communities. They have been forgotten, left behind.”

*Christian Petersen: Everton v The City of Liverpool: Inequality in Liverpool @ The Kind Shop, 110 Bold Street, Liverpool until Feb 15, 2009, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2009.

Broad Oak is back, everyone

mickmulliganFebruary 4th 2009.

EDITORIAL SAYS: Rant removed

DigFebruary 4th 2009.

Of Time and The City illustrates in frightening detail what the Tories did to Liverpool in the 80's. Watching that brought some old memories back of my childhood in the 80's and the dereliction everywhere I took for granted.

shirlFebruary 4th 2009.

Who needs more proof that the Tory dogs tryed to destroy Liverpool than these pix?Blair made it worse by letting alcohol drugs and gambling become legal so that bored young kids had to steal money to buy guns to protect there mums and dads.How many ignorant single parent girls were forced into prostitution and contracted aids because of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. Probably the numbers are hidden in some database but the truth will come out one day.

paulFebruary 4th 2009.

are you eddie honda???????

Tim AzzypamFebruary 4th 2009.

I am not surprised with the cost of parking in Liverpool, we'll all be driving over to Broad Oaks for our shopping. We'd be mad not to.

DigFebruary 4th 2009.

Shhh don't tell anyone. Park your car down by Brunswick train station. Loads of free parking down there. Train from Brunswick to Central and back is going to cost you £2-£3. If you ask me nicely I'll even let you park in my works private car park too.

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